Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jaxen Swim Lessons

I worried about Jaxen the most. This is the kid that freaks out about getting his head wet in the shower. At the start of the class I thought that maybe I should have put him in the same class as Ember. He started to cry at least two different times because he didn't want to swim/put his face in the water. He kept saying I can't. It is amazing what 8 days of swim lessons can do!

Here is Jaxen showing off his "bobbing" skills. Yes, you see clearly, his face is in the water!

Oh yes, the back float. He was the talk of the town, OK amongst his friends, because he could do a back float...they all wanted to learn how. You can't tell clearly, but she is not holding on to him. Oh yeah, she is Claire, his teacher. We couldn't leave the pool each day until each student had cleared out and the lifeguards left. He had to say bye.

The ever dreaded front float...which requires, a favorite skill, a full face submersion. He did it! Yes, that is my boy out there conquering his fears one back float and front float at a time.

Owen Swim Lessons

Poor Owen is left to swelter with me while his brother and sister get to go in the pool. Boy was he jealous!

Finally, the last day of class, and mom thinks to bring me something to gnaw on and my chair. Good thinking, mom!
Yes, I will stop what I am doing and pose with my graham cracker crumb face. I can pull off any look!

Ember's Swim Lessons

I will be the first to tell you that I didn't think that Ember would ever get the hang of this thing called "swimming". Although she is far from an expert, she has mad strides.

Jumping in after much coaxing from me and Paul. Paul is her teacher. I tried to tell Paul that if you want Ember to do something, you can't "ask" her, you have to tell her. If you give her the choice, she will always say no. No, I don't want to do a bob, no I don't want to jump in.
Practicing their kicking.

This is where Paul holds a ring under the water and Ember has to submerge herself, at least a little bit to get it. She got better at this as the class went on.

$17 bought me...

8 oranges
8 bananas
at least two pounds of red grapes
3 huge beets
1 eggplant
2 bunches of green onions
2 heads of romaine lettuce
5 medium yellow squash
6 kiwi
1 cantaloupe
6 nectarines
4 plums
about 1 lb mushrooms

All of the food was certified organic or locally grown, looked fresh, and was still cold when it got home. Nothing looked old or over ripe, in fact some of the fruit (bananas and cantaloupe) can sit on the counter for a little longer because they have a little bit longer before the big slice!

Interestingly enough, Shaunton didn't know what the eggplant was...although I think most people would have a hard time naming it. I have never personally bought eggplant, mushrooms (eew), or beets. So, if anyone has a great recipe that involves those any of those three things pass it on this way.

Overall, I was pleased with my first basket from the co-op. If you are interested you can go to Bountiful Baskets and check out what they have to offer. The also do bread baskets, and other interesting things.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Boys

Jaxen is a doting and loving big brother. Most of the time this is not a problem, in fact, it can be quite helpful for a frazzled mom.

Most mornings he comes in before the sun is even up and offers to take Owen into the living room to "hang out" while I figure out how to roll myself out of bed. Because it so quiet out there, it doesn't seem to take me as long as I think it does to get in gear.

I came out the other morning to this lovely least it was lovely until Owen caught a glimpse of me. I think we are starting down the path of separation anxiety.

Granted Owen is like 3 pounds lighter than Jaxen, but it is so cute to see Jaxen (and just as often, Ember) heaving him all over the house. It's cute when Owen is OK with it...which is hardly ever.

Owen gives me this weary "oh, no, not again" pleading glance as he is shuffled here and there and everywhere. I don't know if this kid is ever going to learn how to crawl or walk. For his benefit, he tries to tell them he doesn't like it, he really does, but why would a 6 year old and especially a 4 year old listen to a kid who isn't even 1 yet? He has no merit. I really think he just needs to stop making eye comes back and gets him every time.

Who are these hotties?!

This was Owen's second time in the pool. Because Owen is my third child and not my first (or second for that matter), I don't have many pics for his first time at anything. So, with this child, I am going to be documenting the seconds. His second tooth, his second bath, get the idea.

No really, I have a pic from his first time, but he is beached on a towel sleeping. I would post it, but this one is so much cuter and look at that "your-gonna-love-me" pose, so worth waiting until his second time around.

At least we have pics of him...more than some third children can say about their childhood.

Owen is all about anything that is not for little babies. This includes any and all table food. Baby food? What baby food. Don't waste your time, energy, or money on anything that is made for infants. Better get used to the idea of sharing (although once you have kids, the word "mine really takes on a new meaning...if any). Owen has a fascination with cups. OK, he has a fascination with anything he can get is plump little fingers on or around.

He is one flexible little kid. From his Bumbo, he can reach in 360 degrees terrorizing anyone or anything within arms reach, and if that doesn't do the trick, he resorts to using those two limber legs to knock over what his chubby claws can't have. He really does amazing work.

When It's Quiet...

When it's quiet, and your kids are getting along, you know that you are in trouble. Either they are doing something they aren't supposed to do (i.e. filling up the tea set and all other concave toys with water...and taking them into the bedroom to play with) or they are being "creative" (i.e. hanging ponies by their luscious manes from their dresser drawer handles, tying odd and end strings on a stroller, or other object, and creating a series of knots around them. This is a great "stress reliever" for your mom 20 minutes after you tire of creating said masterpiece and you want your toy back.

Here are some of the inventive play ideas straight from the creative minds of a six and four year old.

Whom, by the way, is excited that she can finally take a whole vitamin now that she has turned four. (Instead of just the head of Elmo or other poor, unfortunate vita-creature.)

<----Who needs dice? A shoe is the perfect charm for the average everyday household microwave. (Halloween stickers add a festive touch as well, don't you think?)

This is just one of the aforementioned string mazes. I still haven't figured out what exactly the purpose of doing this is. But, when you are 4 and 6, you really don't need a purpose to do anything really.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bath time fun!

Lately we have just been taking Owen into the shower toward the end of one of our showers. One parent handing off Owen to the other, just to be quick and get it over with.

Last night the kids took baths for the first time in a long time. They usually just shower with one of us.

Anyway, now that Owen is sitting up, we let him get in the tub with Jaxen. It was too cute not to capture the moment and share.

No bath adventure would be complete without lots of splashing and flying toys!

Creative Solutions

Jaxen asked me for tape the other morning to fix his "map" that shows how to transform one of his transformers. I told him we didn't have any tape right now. Frankly, because they get into it and use if for non-tape purposes. So, he set it down and I went to go do something else.


He comes in a few minutes later with a huge grin on his face, obviously very proud of something. He shows me one side...which looks like the picture above. And then, TADA! It's fixed. I knew those letters would come in handy for something.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

A morning in the life...

After much ado, Ember ended up in my bed early this morning and wanted to snuggle and get tickles. Upon snuggling face to face, she starts saying, mom, stop it. Huh, I reply, in my sleepy haze. She puts her hand up between her face and mine. I don't need that air. Well, at least she didn't say I had stinky breath!

With a nursing kid, it never fails that the garment top gets a little loose over time with all the lifting, lowering, tugging, etc. As we are laying there this morning, after our little breathing episode, I feel Ember tug at my top. A body shift later, and she is at it again. Mom, she finally says exasperated, it keeps coming out! Sorry!...although I am sure you are the only one in my bed at the moment that cares. Owen and Shaunton probably don't mind, but for two very different reasons...OK, I guess it can be summed up in two words: Easy Access.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Owen's 10 month progress report

Owen just want in for his 9 month checkup...OK, 10 month check up with the 9 month old shots. We had the Russian Roulette of not having insurance for the month of May, so checkups were put off a month. OK, back to the point.

Owen weights 16 lbs 11 oz. and is finally on the charts for 10 months. Granted it is the 5-10 percentile, but at least he is on the scales. I know they (the scales) don't mean all that much, but it is reassuring that he is gaining up to where he needs to be.

We are still working on the finer points of babyhood. He can now sit up on his own...with only the occasional tip over. He likes to roll and is an expert and scooting on his back. He babbles constantly and enjoys a friendly game of peek a boo and frantic jumping coupled with weird noises from his brother for him to admire and enjoy. Only boys.

As we approach his birthday, we are contemplating what we want to do to say thank you to the NICU nurses. Granted, the hospital is still getting a monthly check in the mail, but We want to do something a little more personal. I called the NICU to find out what they are in need of and we have a short list we can ponder on before we make a decision closer to his birthday. We are hoping to make this a tradition, but, as with all other things in life, we will see.


Jaxen comes out of the bathroom and says I drowned myself a little bit to get the blood out. He tilts his head to show me how he did it. Interesting choice of words, but sticking your face under the faucet is not going to stop a nose bleed. Stop picking. That might help.

As we are playing in his room. He wants us to pretend that we see a really really long truck coming. Kind of like that a really really long car. You know, the like the really really long car we rode in at Disneyland. It was not until the last "clue" that I was able to figure out that we was talking about a limo.

Whenever Ember wants to eat a PB&J sandwich, he says she should eat something else because she is just wasting bread, right mom? Technically, it isn't really a waste...but it will be soon enough.

Just so you know, OWEN, upside down, really does look a lot like NEMO. Yep, go ahead try it. Where do they think of these things. I swear those wheels are always turning.

And, last but not least, he really want to go see Kung Fu Panda...still not sure who wants to see it more Shaunton or the kids. Anyway, he asks me earlier, in all seriousness, if he was being a good boy. We said we would only go to the movies if they were good today. Yes Sonny, you are being a good least for right now. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Kickin" it Old School Style

Shaun and I recent joined a kickball team. Granted, it has been a few years (over 20 actually) since I have played kick ball, but I was excited to play.

We had a double header on Tuesday night. We won the first game and had to wait 45 minutes to play the second, we won that one too. Not bragging or anything. I still have mad skills though. Just sayin.

I don't know who had more fun, us or the kids. They practically have to fend for themselves. We are on the Salt River Indian Reservation, so I don't think anyone would actually want to leave with my kids. They don't look like mine but that can't really pass for anyone else's. LOL They do like to roam around with the other kids. Owen is left in the dugout, alone (when we are in the outfield), in his lime green Bumbo, to watch the kids running around having fun or sometimes he likes to watch us play. We are quite entertaining. Seriously though, he is usually calm enough to sit for 3 outs, but there are several people that hold him on that rare occasion that he should get fussy. I know, hard to believe that I could have a fussy one right? My kids are perfect...and to show you, I will share their perfect evening at the ballpark.

It starts off with a refreshing dip in the water fountain. New shoes and all. Got to do something to stay cool. This is immediately followed by running up, down, and behind bleachers and chain link fences. After all, whose gonna stop 'em. Followed by a quick detour by Ember her lost her way (this was in between games on the way to the second field, I swear she was right behind us.) To cap off the evening, you have to take off your shoes and socks so you can exfoliate your feet in the soft red dirt. It wouldn't be complete without a light dusting of said exfoliate over the entire body. I hear it is good for the skin and hair. Upon completion of the beauty regimen , we come to realize that Ember is missing her glasses. So we get the honor of digging through mud pies to find them. Why did we get her brown frames? It makes perfect sense to take off your glasses and set them down on the ground because you are muddy. Ok, so they weren't in the mud pies...rather just next to them.

The good news, is that this perfect night had the perfect ending. We found her glasses. They were still in once piece...a mangled twist of one piece. Of which got a good laugh from the gang and a quick refresher course on the wonderful insurance we have. Luckily, we were able to take them in and they were able to heat the metal and bend the mangled mess back in the something that resembled glasses and the lens had nery a scratch on them. It is a kickball miracle.

We have a new dog!!!

Yes, we have a new dog. She is a mixed breed about 4 years old, give or take a week. She has beautiful dark brown hair and chocolaty brown eyes. She is gorgeous. Her name is Ember.

Yeap, you heard right. Ember. Ember decided on Monday that she was going to be a dog "forever". Actually, she said that she wanted to be a pony forever...and then changed her mind to a dog. Cute, the first day. The girl hasn't given it up!

She runs around on all four "legs" whenever possible. Knees and hands in the house, feet (which is silly to watch) and hands when getting into the van or going outside. She crawls up onto her chair to eat, crawls out of the van (which takes a good bit of time), and had even made a dog bed on the floor of her room. Of course, she had to sleep in said dog house on Tuesday, but has since decided that her bed is a bit more comfortable.

She does eat the right way...but before every meal she reassures us that, yes, dogs like yogurt, they also like lemon flavored cookies and peanut M&M's.

I gave up trying to reason with her and have just gone along with it. However, she has to turn back into a girl whenever we go out, but that doesn't always work. Her animal instincts took over today in the doctor's office. Makes for an interesting conversation starter.

I have tried telling her that dogs don't have birthday parties. (Her birthday is next week.) But she is pretty sure they do. I told her dogs would get bones and chew toys. She is pretty sure that dogs would also like ponies and other toys too.

Well, the good news is, she is house broken, doesn't chew on things, and doesn't lick faces.